This is it--the book that causes me to cringe every time I see a Piers Anthony novel and caused me to swear off ever reading another Anthony book. As far as I'm concerned, this book is nothing but child porn disguised as a novel.
Here's why: In chapter 32, Anthony tells of an abused child he calls "Nymph". Nymph is being sexually molested by both her brother and father, and one day she runs into a neighbor's house to hide from her brother. Nymph's neighbor is a single adult man called Maddock, who immediately tells her, "A cute little girl like you shouldn't be in a place like this. Something might happen to you." Anthony then goes on to describe in extremely graphic detail a sexual liason between Nymph and Maddock, with Nymph wailing more than once "I want to do it! I want to be a real woman!" The liasons continue over a period of time, and eventually they are caught and Maddock goes to trial.
Anthony decribes Maddock's defense this way: "...though the Defendant may be technically guilty of the charge against him, he is not morally guilty. He did not seek the girl, he did not force his attention on her...it was entirely voluntary on her part. In fact, they were lovers, in the truest sense, age no barrier." In his author's note at the end of the book, Anthony states "...little Nymph was abused not by the man with whom she had sex, but by members of her family...and by the society that preferred to condemn her lover."
Let me point out here that "Nymph" is five years old.
Anthony also says in his author's note "One of the included stories was written by Santiago Hernandez, in prison for pedophilia...as far as I know, Santiago Hernandez did not hurt anyone. He just happens to be sexually attracted to young boys."
I read this book years ago, and the only thing about it I can remember is the scene where the five year old girl seduces an adult male. This is a big-time taboo and repulsive subject and no matter how well written the rest of the book was, the child molestation scene ruins the whole thing.
It lures you in with the sensual promise of ecstasy beyond imagining. It seduces with a scent erotic and carnal, unleashing the raw animal passion in its once-civilized human prey. and it kills with a terrible rapture no man or woman can resist.
It lures you in with the sensual promise of exstasy beyond imagining. It seduces with a scent erotic and carnal, unleashing the raw animal passion in its once-civilized human prey. And it kills with a terrible rapture no man or woman can resist. Beware the touch of...Firefly.
I really liked this book. It was certainly different. Some people have commented that it seemed to advocate child pornography or incest. I certainly didn't take it that way and from the author's commentary, it's obvious that he meant it as quite the opposite. It seemed to be an admonition against both child abuse and domestic violence. Granted, this admonition came in a very strange form...typical of most Piers Anthony works.
This book is more a treatment of ideas about sexual morals that Piers Anthony would like to discuss than it is a thriller, which is how it's touted. As a long essay talking about his controversial beliefs regarding sexuality, it is fairly interesting. As a can't put it down thriller, it was a failure
This book was absolutely freaky and scary. It had me guessing till the very end. I know that I will read it again, since I've read it at least 2 times before. I have my 16 year old daughter reading it now and she is really enjoying it.
This is definitely something that you would expect from Piers Anthony from his normal fantasy genre, but I am so glad to see that he has more sides to him. :)